That time of year again

OK, I think we’ll take all the digs about journalists going off that nice Mr. Darling because of the hikes on alcohol as read – suffice it to say a lot …

12th March 2008 at 6:19 pm

OK, I think we’ll take all the digs about journalists going off that nice Mr. Darling because of the hikes on alcohol as read – suffice it to say a lot of us will be binge buying very quickly.

There’s a lot of positive stuff in this budget, though – and after Northern Rock there needed to be. It won’t meet the approval of every business; increased tax on larger cars is going to appease the green lobby but not people who need the vehicles for their livelihood, for example. The money to get people back to the workplace is welcome, though, as is the small drop in corporation tax. CGT remains untouched, in case anyone was wondering but the small firms loan guarantee’s pot will be increased and there will be funds available to get women into business.

Nothing dramatic or unexpected, then. There is more tinkering; the law that would have stopped husbands and wives splitting their tax allowance is delayed which is a relief as many thought it would be unworkable.

The really fun bit, though, is the threat to start taxing plastic bags if shops don’t start charging for them. It will be entertaining to watch the inevitable backlash against this one. At the moment loads of people have agreed that plastic bags are a bad thing, in fact I’ve seen only one view questioning the received wisdom that they are harmful. Noticeably I haven’t seen much coverage of the actual science behind getting rid of them. I wonder how long it will be before someone starts asking: are you *sure* about this..?

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod.

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  1. Martyn says:


    I thought this was a small biz blog – CT for small businesses went UP for goodness sake. The cut in CT only help applies to big business.

    Include in this the continual changes in capital allowances, proposals on CGT etc and NuLab is most certainly NOT small biz friendly.,

    Darling, like his boss, has proved time and again they are statist and corporatist – only interested in big business (hence the rescue of Northern Rock) and legislating small business out of existence.

  2. Hi Martyn

    You should have a listen to our Budget podcast for a different perspective. The story of the budget for SMEs was more what wasn’t mentioned, than what was.

  3. Martyn says:

    Your last interviewee made the best comment – “let us get on with what we need to do” – i.e. govt should just get out of the way, stop legislating and micro managing and let businesses create employment and growth. Picking winners and massive govt intervention didn’t work in the 60s and 70s so why should it work now.

    Belgium hasn’t had a govt for 6 months – perhaps we should try it here!

  4. Hey, Martyn … I want you on the podcast for next year’s Budget!

  5. Martyn says:

    No problem!

  6. Clive Birnie says:

    I reserve the right to muscle in on this. Consider it a Severn Delta special offer!

  7. Thanks Clive. That’s the best bogoff deal I’ve had so far this year!

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